MAKE A COMPLAINT
ALCOHOL REGULATION IN THE UK
The marketing and sponsorship of alcohol products is self-regulated by an industry appointed body – the Portman Group – to ensure that products are marketed and promoted in line with its Codes of Practice.
Complaints are considered by an Independent Complaints Panel and its decisions are published. Effective sanctions are in place to ensure that decisions made by the Independent Complaints Panel are enforced.
HOW DOES THE COMPLAINT PROCESS WORK?
Anyone can make a complaint against an alcohol product, promotion or sponsorship that they consider is in breach of the Codes.
Firstly, we’ll contact the complainant to make sure we have captured the complaint accurately and will also ask them to confirm that there is no legal action between them and the company involved or is likely to be initiated.
The Chair of the Independent Complaints Panel will decide whether the case meets the conditions to be resolved informally or whether it should be investigated formally by the Panel.
If the producer accepts that their product/promotion breaches the Code and agrees to an informal resolution, then we’ll ask them for an assurance that the product/promotion will be withdrawn or amended.
If the producer disagrees with the complaint, or is unable or unwilling to take remedial action through the informal resolution process, the case will be formally investigated by the Panel.
After liaising with the company involved, we’ll send the complainant the case dossier which will include a list of the files the Panel will consider: the complaint, the date and format of the company’s response and any similar cases which the Panel have ruled on previously.
The Panel will meet and consider the product/promotion under the Code. They can consider the product/promotion under any rule of the Code, not just those cited in the complaint.
The Panel will make a decision whether to uphold or not uphold the complaint.
The final decision is published here and communicated via a press release.
If appropriate, the Portman Group can issue a Retailer Alert Bulletin which advises licensed retailers not to replenish stock of the problematic product after a specified date (usually 3 months).
NEED TO COMPLAIN ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE?
The Advertising Standards Authority is the independent regulator for advertising in the UK including broadcast and cinema advertising.